2001 was a year of change.
After having spent my childhood and teenage years in the same private school, with the same people, I was now in a different environment: first year of university. Being naturally an introvert and having felt different (due to my lack of periods) throughout school, going through school was hard. And because it was the same people and environment for over a decade, I felt I couldn’t change who I was. But now, at 18 years of age, at university, I had this opportunity to meet new people and maybe choose to be a bit different, more extrovert.
But little did I know what 2001 was about to bring me…
For the last year I had had investigations, multiple medical examinations, taking tablets, changed diet to see if my periods would start. But it was only when I had a laparoscopy – a surgical procedure where a camera is put inside our abdomen- that I was told I didn’t have a uterus and the top part of my vagina. Followed by the most surreal experience of undergoing further, more invasive surgery – 4 hours, several surgeons, general and epidural anaesthesia, significant blood loss, 10 days in a hospital bed and several months of wearing a dildo 24/7 – to create a vagina.
This happened on the 11 June 2019.
So this day, every year, I celebrate.
I had surgery so I could feel normal, so I could fit in, be a woman. But as years have gone by, I learned womanhood is not defined by our reproductive organs.
So when I celebrate, I don’t do it because I feel ‘normal’. I do it because I am different.
It was this difference and challenge that made me say “If I can overcome this, there is nothing in life I won’t be able to accomplish”. And it was precisely this commitment that made me achieve so much in a short period of time in my life. It’s the driving force for everything I do.
So, if you are going through infertility, here’s a few things I have learned for over 18 years and have helped me:
Andreia Trigo RN BSc MSc is the founder of inFertile Life and of the Enhanced Fertility Programme, multi-awarded nurse consultant, fertility coach, author and TEDx speaker. Combining her fourteen-year medical experience, CBT, NLP and her own eighteen-year infertility journey, she has developed unique strategies to help people undergoing similar challenges achieve their reproductive goals. The Enhanced Fertility Programme is helping people worldwide and has been awarded Best Innovation in Business 2018 and E-Business of 2018.